I like to figure out ways to look and feel my best in the shortest amount of time possible, so I can get to the really important things, like staring at palm trees and drinking ice coffee.
I am probably not alone, though, as I suspect most people like to look their best without spending half the day getting there. In other words, does anyone want to spend an hour doing their hair, or 30 minutes buttoning themselves up into some concoction they pulled together from the closet? Yeah, me neither.
That said, whether you’re a lad or lady, consider figuring out your uniform. A personal dressing blueprint that looks good on you, feels comfortable and projects something satisfying about you to the world. A shortcut to pulling yourself together each day, clothing wise.
Having a dress uniform for work makes things incredibly each morning when you’re stumbling around, pre-caffeine. Why invent the sartorial wheel each day? It’s too annoying. Whether a suit is part of the equation or not, determining your desired dress profile for specific roles or scenarios gives you a pre-determined direction when you fling open your closet doors.
Tips to designing your uniform:
●After a certain period of time on Earth, one realizes that certain colors, cuts, silhouettes look better than others. Which look best on you? Figure them out—down to the detail. Acquire a manageable inventory of them, and in the best quality possible.
●Think about this season. What is interesting to you, style or fashion wise? Have you tried on any of these interests and if so, they look good on you? Do they help communicate something positive about you to others?
●First, create your style mission statement for the season. What do you, in general, want to look like? Seasons are an easy way to divvy up the year because they correspond neatly to weather changes. You’re thinking about completely different garments, colors and weights in the summer than the winter, even if you live in a mild climate.
●Translate your profile into a baseline look that you use for your major activity spheres. For many of us, these will include work/professional activities, running around/errands, social activities and so forth.
This is my baseline look for running around this season. It’s cold where I live, kind of, so clingy knit skirts and dresses form the basis of my uniform. They work with my figure, are super comfortable and easy care. They are also more interesting, to me at least, than denim. I’m wearing black leggings under the skirt, which increases warmth without adding bulk. What is the basis of your uniform? It can be as easy as jeans and denim, or mod dress slacks and a spiffy non-iron dress shirt.
I add a warmish neck scarf in a pleasing color, and/or a short jacket as outerwear staples. The grey half-sleeve jacket above is by Valette. It has a throwback design that adds a touch of something, and it’s easy to throw on and off, with no zippers; just a snap or two. If you’re on the petite side, keep jackets either short (waist-length or above), or go full-Monty long and fitted. Read here for tips on selecting a winter coat.
Suede slips-ons or ballet flats are go-to footwear. Ease of use, again, and they impart a certain femininity. No matter your shoe preference this season, please focus on quality. I’ve had the above pair of shoes by Tod’s for eons. They were not the most inexpensive on the block, but I estimate they would have outlasted 3-4 lesser-quality pairs. Tip: Great quality lasts longer and looks better, making it the smarter investment no matter your budget.
Which brings me back to your uniform. Formulate your baseline look by explicitly determining your desired fabrics, main garments, outerwear, accessories and shoes. It will make it easy to dress even if you’re sleepwalking. It will be easier and faster to get ready each day, and you will be more comfortable and pleased with your look. These are all good things.
Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a question. In the meantime, girl or guy, go forth and be glamorous!
Some helpful posts:
- Lots of Clothes, Nothing to Wear
- How to Go Shopping in Your Closet
- A Feminine Formula for Cool Weather Style
- Get the 80/20 Rule Out of Your Closet (video)